The threats against the Richmond NAACP are the latest of many attacks on black activists

Tagwa Shammet, Opinions Editor

Heights. Spiders. Crowds. Abandonment. Confined spaces. Sharks. Black activism. These are just some of America’s biggest fears. Time and time again, U.S. culture has been to suffocate the black community. The nation’s tendency has been to snuff out any organization whose entire purpose is to advance and further the excellence of the black American community.

The NAACP is an American organization famously known for its integral work in elevating black Americans within their respective factions, as well as American society as a whole. The NAACP publicly states that its mission is to secure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. To me, the NAACP has always been a group of poised, brilliant and honorable individuals who seek justice for not only the black community, but for all.

So you can only imagine my overwhelming sadness when the Richmond chapter of the NAACP was brutally threatened. On Aug. 9, the Richmond branch of the organization received a 32-second voicemail containing violent threats against the community.  The NAACP immediately notified the Richmond police department, which quickly began investigating the threat. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Chief William Smith said in a statement, “The department takes threats of violence very seriously and stands with the NAACP in our denouncement of these statements.” 

The voicemail included violent threats against the association and went as far as to say, “I’m going to do what I can to make sure you go away.” This voicemail came shortly before the news broke on Friday that the NAACP is suing Hanover County schools in an effort to change the names of two of the district’s schools. Named after Confederate figures, Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School violate the rights of black students to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, the suit states. 

Here we go again. The black community is trying to create a more safe and welcoming environment for all youth, especially their own, and they’re being punished. When will Americans realize the constant hate rooted in something as trivial as color will only create hostility and distance between each other — soon we’ll be unable to come back from it. Hating black people for their evolution and excellence is as American as apple pie.

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